Saturday, January 09, 2016

Dolphins Hire Doogie Howser As New Head Coach

Yes, the Miami Dolphins have turned to a young and bright mind in the name of Adam Gase, the former OC of the Bears, to be our new and hopefully improved Head Coach.

You can read all about his history in 400 other articles out there right now.

Before I start on our new regime, let me say that I thought Dan Campbell did a decent job and even though the players seem to have rallied around him this past week, they didn't rally enough when it mattered most. Unfortunately, an undisciplined 5-7 team wasn't going to make the grade so Campbell was grounded.

On to the future, in the first few pictures and videos I saw of Gase, he bore a trimmed beard which made him look very mature. I wasn't aware he was only 37 years old.

But at his introductory press conference, he sat cleaned shaven, looking like he just got off the train from Sticksville, Wyoming, so I had to wonder if he flashed a fake ID to get into the building.

Stephen Ross and Mike Tannenbaum have given this kid the keys to the franchise. Much like any other parents, I wonder if they also had to give him 10 bucks for gas.  I am sure he got enough cash to pay for Med School and beyond.

They certainly have given him free reign over their kingdom. The spoiled brat will have total control over all his toys as he gets to decide who gets onto and stays on the 53 Man Roster.

I personally like the idea of coaches having control over their toys. Or as Bill Parcells once said "If they want you to cook the meal, they should at least let you shop for the groceries."

Plus, players know that dude over there can certainly end their football life so I assume they will play harder for the dude.

Chris Grier, the newly hired GM, gets to continue to scout the talent, as he did prior to his new appointment, only now he gets a bigger allowance. 

I guess Gase will get to either kick and scream until he gets what he wants or keep throwing his unwanted toys into the trash until Daddy Grier gets him what he really wants.

Gase also has decided that he will in fact call his own plays.  That's right, nobody tells him what to do.  Gase said it is fun calling the plays.

I have no issue with this. Could be must see TV.

Gase made no predictions, made no promises and as such gets plenty of leeway from his parents. 5 years worth, well maybe 3 if there's a divorce.

The one benefit to all this is that if this turns into another train wreck, we the lucky fans, will only have to point one finger in the one direction of the one kid standing on the one sideline with a stupid smirk on his face telling us "You asked for it".

I truly hope it works out and for a lengthy time. I hope he becomes our next Don Shula. I hope we do win at least a couple more Super Bowls.

And hopefully in my lifetime.

Phins Up!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971 (That's before Gase was born)


Looks like the Dolphins will be passing gas

Okay so today it appears the team will hire Gasse as the new head coach. I stand behind my previous point that Campbell was the insiders favorite.

But gas probably filled the room, and instead they took another guy with no head coaching experience. So I suppose there's that.

The stats on Chicagos offense last season were rather pedestrian, considering they had a middle of the road QB and a terrific running back.

There is one thing you can say about Gasse: he was the QB coach with the Broncos when they had Tim Tebow, so hopefully that will mean he'll try and sign Tebow to make this offense great!!

So Dolphins fans. What do you think? I say: yawn.

Friday, January 08, 2016

'NFL Confidential': Anonymous Player On Why He Loathes The League : NPR

'NFL Confidential': Anonymous Player On Why He Loathes The League : NPR
Interesting read. 

'NFL Confidential': Anonymous Player On Why He Loathes The League

It's unusual to hear a current NFL player criticize the league, let alone talk frankly about its handling of concussions or its response to domestic violence scandals.

But a new book does just that. It's called NFL Confidential, a memoir of the 2014 football season written by a player who goes only by Johnny Anonymous.

The player spoke with All Things Considered host Audie Cornish this week, after NPR confirmed his identity before the interview.

He says he loves playing the game but thinks the NFL is manipulative and exploitative.

"You get to the NFL and you realize that the only reason you're there — and the only reason they want you there — is to make money for the NFL, and they'll compensate you for that," he says.

The player describes feeling that concussions, painkillers and off-the-field scandals all take a back seat to on-field performance.

"It's either come clean and tell all as it stands from my mouth and my voice with my picture and my name on it, and football cease to exist in my life," he says. "Or I maintain my anonymous stature, and I can really give the world a piece of what this game really is for the guys that don't mean anything to the game — and continue to make money."

The current league minimum salary for a rookie is $435,000 — for experienced players, it's even more.

You can listen to the full interview at the link above. (The player's voice has been disguised.)


Interview Highlights

On players' reactions to the video of Ray Rice assaulting his then-fiancee and the sensitivity training imposed by the league

[The training was led by] a guy who was underqualified to speak about the subject he was speaking about, and a handful of guys, frankly all the guys on the team, sitting in their chairs, on their phone, joking around. I don't think a single thing touched any man in that room, except for me, because I was listening the entire time for this book. ...

I think it's just a general acceptance of, I don't know, what seems normal, which is kind of sad to say. Obviously, when that came out, we were all sitting in the training room and it comes up, and it's disgusting. We all know it's disgusting. A handful of guys made remarks of, "This guy shouldn't be in the league; this guy is disrespectful to women." And then 10 minutes later you've got a guy making a joke about it. So, there's different levels of respect that players will have, but I think in general they have a pretty short attention span.

On how the physicality of the game relates to players' emotions

One of the greatest therapy sessions any NFL player has is actually playing the game. You have guys that have demons. They have things that they've dealt with in their life that make them who they are and make them angry, physical men. And you can't just make that disappear. That's literally what fuels a football player to put on a helmet, look at the guy across from him, and literally hit him as hard as he possibly can.

On what goes through a player's head after an injury and use of painkillers

For some guys it's fear, which is why you'll see them kicking and screaming and crying. For some guys it's shock. I know for most of us — probably all of us — the first thing you think is: "I'm done." That's it. You think the injury's gonna take the game away from you.

You have to [take painkillers]. It's the only way you make it through. I can tell you right now, honestly, that, if I'm playing a game, I cannot complete that game without painkillers. I will not be an effective player.

On meeting older players and seeing the effect of a life of football

Recently I had a conversation with a guy that played eight years as an offensive lineman and was told to me as being a very intelligent guy. I was actually excited to talk to him. And within seconds of speaking to him, his eyes hung heavy, his voice was slurred, the effects were apparent, he could barely walk, it's terrifying.

And I mean there's all the talk about CTE [chronic traumatic encephalopathy] and what brain damage can do to you, but you can't forget about arthritis and just really the downside of every surgery you've had, it's gonna play out when you're 35. Whereas in normal people, that arthritic nature of your body won't hit until your late 50s.

On concussions

I think [the NFL has] concern, but I think the concern only exists to combat the negative publicity they're getting. There's concussion protocol that they're putting in. And sure, they'll have to evaluate every player that has a possible head injury. ...

At the same time, once you can pass your test, your little computer test that they put you through, you're ready to go back on the field and there's no negative thought.

But ... if you have too many concussions on your list, in your medical records — they'll weigh that against you and not sign you back when your contract's up, just out of risk.

On his mother, and how her death influenced his decision to play football

She was everything, you know. ... I was a mama's boy, which it's kind of funny ... football was something she never wanted me to do. Growing up my entire life, "you'll never play football, go play baseball," and I played baseball, and really I did that until I couldn't play baseball because of another injury, and football was what I wanted to try. And at that time in my life I needed something like football. And I do think the game still carries a strong connection between me, through the game, to her, just because of everything we had together. ...

I think I've had a fairly successful career, and in the same breath I think she'd look at it and go, "What are you doing? There's so much more for you out there."



Short. Sweet. To the point. That's the beauty Dave's iPhone. 

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Coaching changes

It's amazing to me how "win now" has become the philosophy of NFL teams. For the last several years, we've seen around 20% of the coaches get fired. And we were sitting there again this season until Lovie Smith got fired overnight. And now we are at a staggering 25% coaching turnover this season. That's right, 8 vacancies exist in the NFL today.

And more amazing is that once again (and it seems like, this happens more frequently than in decades past) you had a coach fired after just one year, and at least one other coach who had just completed year two. And the rest were under 5 years, except for Coughlin.

Yikes! That's a short leash. And because teams want to fix things quickly, it's tough to even consider playoff team assistant coaches. And Nick Saban and Chip Kelly make teams think twice about hiring a college coach - the leap is not easy, and the flameout rate is high.

The funny thing is that because about 38% of teams make the playoffs, your chances of surviving as a coach if you miss are about 6 in 10. Obviously coaches on the shorter end of the tenure scale are more likely to be retained. But as you start to get closer to 4 years, if you haven't made the playoffs, you are much more likely to get fired.

So every coach that comes in has to have a plan to turn things around quickly. If they tease with a 10 win season, and miss the playoffs by bad luck, then they're on the right track. If they come out of the gates with a bad record, they are well on their way to getting fired soon.

Remember, too, that the more tenured head coaches keep making the playoffs, so the number of new coaches that get in is small every year.

Coaches can't have a 5-year plan anymore. And there isn't time to churn a roster. They have to win with what they're given (or left with) and find a way to motivate the players. As I've said before, coaching accounts for maybe 5% of what happens in games. 90% is the players, and the rest is the football gods, or luck. So it has to be the right person in the right situation, with the right group of players.

And that is as much luck as anything.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The Parcells Dolphins or The Miami Parcells or just The Parcells Parcells

Note:  This is my first blog post to this site.  I would like to thank Dave for starting this bitchin' blog and allowing me to contribute.  I have been a Dolphins fan since 1969, was born and raised in South Florida, and, through my travels in life, have continued to follow this team.




Yesterday, the Miami Dolphins held a press conference to introduce their new GM, Chris Grier.  As a fan, it wasn't exactly a reassuring event. Clearly Tannebaum is the acting GM, not Chris Grier.  Sure Chris Grier read a statement that came across as prepared by a PR team, but it wasn't exactly a convincing reading.  He said "I'm excited about the opportunity", "I love this team", and "I love this community" nervously, as if his ninth grade English teacher asked him to read some stilted  poetry aloud, for the first time, in front of the class.  Later, after Tannebaum spoke for 15 minutes, Grier answered the first question by telling us "the dysfunction is over", and then the following question with, essentially, "no comment".  When it come to the only thing we really care about, actual football, Tannebaum did all of the talking. It was Tannebaum talking about where the team need to go and it was Tannebaum's football philosophy that was enunciated, not Grier's.

So, we had a press conference where we were shown a guy (Grier) who was named the GM of a football organization saying nothing that wasn't approved by his bosses, which started off with him speaking - in the least exciting way - about his "excitement" at being Dolphins GM, followed by some words about the the all import "end of dysfunction", and ending with a whole lot of nothing about nothing.  And then another guy (Tannebaum), who the team has said is most certainly not the GM, talking like the football GM, giving football philosophies, talking about the past trials and future direction of the roster and team.  In short, it was just another case of this team and its leadership being dishonest to its fans.  As dysfunctional and unexciting as always.

And so here we are again.  Last year was the last time Hickey failed Tannebaum.  And, like any dysfunctional organization with a convoluted power structure, someone needs to be in line to get force choked the next time the org  comes out of hyperspace too early.  In fact the new GM's employee manual clearly states: "Welcome Admiral Grier, you are now in charge.  Do exactly what Darth Tannebaum tells you to, and we won't start passing out all those "Fire Chris" sings we printed.  Unless, of course, if Tannebaum tells you to do something really dumb.  You must still do it, but know we are going to pass those "Fire Chris" signs out anyway.  But do not fear, at that point you may be able to network with Hickey if he isn't pissed at you for taking his job..."

This is a piss poor management strategy.  Most Dolphins fans have seen right through this dungus, and its why we aren't going to games anymore.   Its  also why we never see any fan comments saying we should have fired Hickey.  Instead, we read everywhere fans calling for the owner to sell the team.  And I think us fans are right.

And so, here we are.  More of the same.

But the thing that bothered me most about the press conference was that Bill Parcells was mentioned at least 7 times.  Maybe if Tannebaum would have talked about the coaching philosophies of Don Shula I might have listened, but instead the press conference was the philosophies as learned from Papatine ...erp...  Parcells.

I get it. Word is that Bill Parcells has the ear of Ross, where the real business gets done, on the golf course.  And Bill Parcells is the mentor for all of these front office hires.  And these are his guys, and they are all loyal to Bill and anyone who was loyal to Hickey got fired.  Fine.  We have to accept the the real man behind the curtain is same guy responsible for Chad Henne and Tony Sparano. 


The thing that this ownership and front office doesn't seem to comprehend is that, by and large, most long time Miami Dolphins fans don't give a damn about Parcells.  Personally, being a fan for over 45 years, I kind of hate the guy.  I think most long time Dolphins fans do.  Parcells has done NOTHING for this team.  And, we already have a Coach Emeritus that did great things - legendary things - for several decades.  Don Shula is The Man.  Met him in person twice, both times a very class act.  Plus he was a great coach - literally the best.  When Shula was coaching, this team was all about one thing - Winning.


Yea, I hate Parcells because we are wasting time talking about the philosophies of a mediocre coach with a notoriously difficult personality, when we could be talking about perhaps the greatest coach in football history, and one that has done so much for the community and team alike. I'm right about this, and you Dolphins fans know it.  Parcells ain't no Don Shula, he's just a mediocre football mind working out his ego issues with our team.


Fact is, Bill Parcells may be the most over-hyped coach in the history of the NFL.  He benefits from a few good years in the 1980s in front of the New York media.  Parcells won one Super Bowl with a great team and Ray Finkled his way to a second Super Bowl with another great team.  But, both those Giants teams were built before the salary cap by an owner who wanted to open the wallet big.  After that, with the salary cap in place, Parcells was a head coach with various teams averaging less than 9 wins per season, and only won a division twice in 10 years.  Pick any 10 year period for Shula, and his record beats Parcells last 10 years in any metric - percentage, wins, division crowns, playoff wins, and playoff appearances.  Yet somehow the media revers this Parcells as one of the greatest coaches in history?  Balderdash!

But, the most telling thing about Bill Parcells is his time at the Patriots.  Parcells had just been to the Super Bowl with the Patriots and lost, but on draft day he threw a tantrum and quit because he couldn't pick his player in the second round.  Instead Robert Kraft had put together a front office team to do the "grocery shopping".  This front office had already assembled one Super Bowl team - with Parcells as coach, and its essentially the same front office doing the grocery shopping today.  This is the same front office team that allows Bellicheat to plug in some no-name 7th round pick because of injury and have that 7th rounder end up an all pro.  The same front office that is perennially favored to win the AFC East, has been in the playoffs nearly every year and won 5 Super Bowls.  As much as it kills me to say it, those grocery shoppers do good football.  And Parcells walked away from that because he couldn't have complete, 100% control.  What this says is Parcells is all about his Ego.  Parcells isn't about winning he's about Parcells.

And with Parcells being the man behind the curtain in Davie, that makes the Miami Dolphins not about winning, but all about Bill Parcells.

Sorry Dolfans, were stuck with this until Parcells stops letting Ross win in golf, or Ross sells team.  Kinda makes me wish Shula would still golf... but we all know he would never let Ross win.

Daves two cents

I read (with much amusement) Stephen Ross's comments after the game. The reference to superbowls (plural) is laughable.

Couple that with the comments from Tannenbaum and some of the names being thrown around and...

It sure seems to me that we'll be right back here within 5 years having the same discussion about the direction of the team.

Short. Sweet. To the point. That's the beauty Dave's iPhone.

Can someone PLEASE explain to me...

...why Miami's front office apparently does not know who will decide on the final 53-man roster??


This is being reported by ESPN analyst, James Walker:
http://espn.go.com/blog/miami-dolphins/post/_/id/19252/dolphins-unsure-who-will-have-final-say-on-53-man-roster


So, basically, you hired a GM that you weren't even sure you wanted making final roster decisions?


So Chris Grier is a glorified scout? It sounds to me like his job description has not changed at all. He is still just the head scout with a fancier title and a bigger pay check.


And why hire a GM now? Why so soon? Why not leave that position open until you've felt out all of the HC candidates? Now you've limited yourself to coaches that will be willing to work in your current structure, which is still pretty messed up. And if there were any big name coaches out there who like to double as the GM, those candidates will be looking right past the Dolphins. So, you've limited your possibilities there, too.


Regardless of the structure, the GM makes roster decisions. Period. If you picked a guy as your GM in whose abilities to do so you don't even have faith, then you made the wrong hiring decision......AGAIN.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Heads or Tails

Heads


Belichick tried to kill two birds with one stone. He exclusively ran the ball in the first half, hoping to exploit a Dolphins weakness and to protect his quarterback. The Patriots needed to win home field advantage in the playoffs.

The Dolphins came to play and did what few teams have done, outsmart Belichick! The Dolphins  combination of aggressiveness on both sides of the ball and great individual plays made the Patriots pedestrian.

The fans and the Florida sun wore out the Patriots. Midway through the second half, Belichick realized his predicament and resorted to a passing attack, watching his quarterback get man-handled.

Tannehill actually had one of his better performances and quieted critics of his deep ball capaabilities. The wide receiver duo of Jarvis Landry and Devante Parker are keepers!

Tails


It’s so wrong! A loss could have vaulted the Dolphins into one the top five draft picks.

Where was this kind of football when it still mattered? Now, a Pyrrhic victory at the end of a lost season. Were the Dolphins playing for themselves, knowing wholesale personnel moves had already begun or were they playing for the next contract/team? Who knows with this team.

Tally Ho! Let the hounds after the fox, Jason Fox, that is! He played like he knew that a loss was good for the draft and almost succeeded in getting his quarterback smashed.

Well there ya go

Believe it or not, I'm not going to bash Tannehill today.

Instead, I'd like to share with you something a friend of mine who has a connection to the patriots told me on Friday: the patriots had no real intention to play hard and win today.

Sure, they would give it some effort, and pros don't tank games, but their goal was to make it through with the limited roster and not get any more injuries.

In other words, they were willing to take the #2 seed (assuming the Broncos win) and get healthy - rather than play hard against a 5 win dolphin team.

They get a bye and a home game in any case.

So live it up Dolphins fans! Your team just beat a team that never was in it - treating it like a preseason game.

Awesome.

All it wound up doing was dropping the fins a couple of spots in the draft and giving fans something to remember from an otherwise forgettable season.

Now on to the coaching search.

Rumor is that Campbell is still the favorite to retain the job. We'll see.